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Brian McCauley / Staff Photo

Paola Mayor Artie Stuteville (right) presents a key to the city to City Clerk Dan Droste during the Paola City Council meeting Tuesday, July 9, at the Paola Justice Center. It was the last regular council meeting for Droste, who is retiring after 15 years of service to the city.

PAOLA — Dan Droste began his tenure as Paola city clerk under difficult circumstances after the untimely and sudden passing of City Clerk Jill Holmes in 2004.

“That was a very difficult chapter in Paola’s history, and a very big challenge for me,” Droste said.

During the past 15 years though, Droste has established himself as one of the most reliable and essential components of Paola City Hall.

Droste plans to retire at the end of the month, and he was honored during the Paola City Council meeting Tuesday, July 9. It was Droste’s last regular council meeting.

Paola City Council members and other city officials praised Droste for his service and said he will be missed, particularly because he has a vast knowledge of budget and the inner workings of the city’s operation.

“People don’t understand your importance to the city,” Councilman Aaron Nickelson told Droste.

Droste said he has no doubt the city will be just fine without him, especially since he has spent more than a year grooming Assistant City Clerk Stephanie Marler to take over his position.

“I have tremendous confidence in her abilities,” Droste said.

He also spoke highly of his colleagues, including Mayor Artie Stuteville and City Manager Jay Wieland.

“I have had the pleasure of working alongside some of the most dedicated professionals that I have known,” Droste said. “This dedication encouraged me to perform at a higher level, and it made my job easier knowing that we were all working for a common goal, the betterment of our community.”

Droste said he and his wife Ruthie have called Paola home for 40 years, and they plan to stay right where they are.

“I have seen a tremendous amount of progress during the past 15 years, and I am certain that Paola will continue to prosper far into the future,” Droste said.

Community members are invited to attend a retirement party for Droste from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, at Town Square in Paola.

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or brian.mccauley@miconews.com.

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